Senior manager Derek Gobel was able to live out his dream of playing in a high school basketball game for the Athenians on Friday. SUSAN EHRLICH/JOURNAL REVIEW
You couldn’t have asked for a better scene in Montgomery County to conclude the boys basketball regular season on Friday. The old CHS gym was rocking as 1500+ fans packed inside to watch a game that was nearly 30 years to the day of the last game played there between one of the longest standing rivalries in the state as the Athenians welcome the Covington Trojans.
The venue at the beginning of the JV game near full as fans from both teams made sure they were part of a history making night.
On the court the game lived up to expectations as a final heave by Crawfordsville fell short and the visiting Trojans celebrated a 58-55 win.
Trailing 53-48 with 2:48 left in the game Covington ended up scoring nine straight points to lead 57-53 including Duncan Keller’s big time three with 1:10 left which gave the Trojans a 55-53 lead. The final minute proved not kind to the Athenians as senior Cale Coursey missed the front end of a one and one at the free-throw line which could have evened the game at 55 all. Both Crawfordsville coach David Pierce and former Cville player and current Trojans coach Evan Morgan didn’t discuss the game on the court first. Instead the took the time to give their thoughts on playing in the historic venue.
“What a cool opportunity for our community,” Pierce said first. “For everyone in our program to experience this is something they’re not going to forget. Scott Bowling our superintendent led the charge with getting this organized and everyone else went to work.”
Morgan went back to the good old fashioned term of Hoosier Hysteria when describing the environment.
“This is what Hoosier basketball is about,” he said. “Everyone loves Indiana basketball and even our JV guys got to experience playing in front of a full crowd and playing under pressure. For our varsity guys it was a great experience for them to prepare for what our sectional environment is going to be like. It came down the final seconds and that’s going to prepare them well for next week.”
Before the varsity game even tipped there was a special moment that took place for the Athenians during the JV game. Senior manager Derek Gobel made his Athenian debut to a raucous ovation from the Athenian crowd to the chants of ‘We want Derek’. Gobel wasted no time in living out his dream by scoring a lay up followed by draining a three.
It was a moment that Pierce made sure he gave his thanks and appreciation to Morgan and the Trojans for making the moment happen.
“Covington was a class act in making that moment possible for Derek,” Pierce said. “They allowed a kid to live out his dream of playing and even getting to score. That ovation he got from the crowd was something he’ll remember forever.”
Morgan also took the time to speak on the magical moment.
“That’s just bigger than basketball,” he said. “It’s something that gives me chills just talking about it. It’s a once and lifetime thing for him to be able to do that and it was fun to see.”
Both teams had their star players step when needed throughout the game as Keller and Coursey both led their teams with 21 points respectively. Drake Burris scored 13 for CHS with both Tyson Fuller and Ethan McLemore adding seven. Coye Ferguson added 10 for the Trojans while Dane Gerling notched nine and Karver Fye scored seven.
“Cale stepped up like senior should tonight,” Pierce said. “He shot it well and only finished with one turnover. When you’re a senior and the season’s winding down, he knows he doesn’t have much time left and we’re only going to get his best.”
Keller had been needing a game like Friday for the Trojans and like Coursey, he’s seeing the final weeks of his high school career tick by and is wanting to make every second count.
“He had been in a little bit of shell the last few weeks,” Morgan said of Keller. “We know he’s capable of that every night scoring double figures. He was obviously a big reason for why we were able to come out on top.”
With the regular season officially coming to an end, The Trojans see their record back at .500 as they finish 12-12. Crawfordsville’s slump continues as they’ve now lost five in a row and end the regular season at 8-14.
Covington will have a full week to prepare for the Class 2A Sectional 38 at Delphi as they drew the bye and will play the winner of Seeger and Carroll.
Crawfordsville opens up the Class 3A Sectional 25 at Danville on Tuesday as they’ll take on Monrovia.
COVINGTON 58, CRAWFORDSVILLE 55
Score by Quarter
COV 12 16 11 19 - 59
CHS13 15 16 11 - 55
Covington (12-12) FG-FGA FT-FTA PTS: Duncan Keller 7-13 5-6 21, Karver Fye 3-3 0-4 7, Coye Ferguson 5-9 2-2 10, Austin Stein 3-7 0-0 7, Urban Roarks 1-2 0-0 3, Dane Gerling 3-8 3-5 9; Totals 22-42 11-19 58
Crawfordsville (8-14): Cale Coursey 7-13 3-4 21, Drake Burris 5-10 0-0 13, Ethan McLemore 2-5 3-4 7, Tyson Fuller 3-5 0-1 7, Kaden Patton 1-7 0-0 2, Alec Saidian 2-6 1-2 5; Totals 20-46 7-11 55
3-Point Shooting: COV 5-12 (Keller 2, Fye, Stein, Roarks); CHS 8-20 (Coursey 4, Burris 3, Fuller)
Rebounds: COV 24 (Ferguson 7, Keller 7); CHS 27 (Coursey 6, Fuller 6)
Turnovers: COV 9, CHS 11